All research in the Institute seeks to contribute directly or indirectly to understanding, informing and influencing policy. Much of this is applied and problem-oriented, and aimed at evaluating the effectiveness, affordability and viability of policies. We also address the good governance aspects of decision-making by public agencies, including issues of performance, accountability and integrity. 

Validating the investment approach to welfare

ISSR researchers collaborated with external consultants to validate the Australian Government’s actuarial analysis of the lifetime costs of the Australian social welfare system. This research was a response to the Australian Government Department of Social Services’ (DSS) first ever evaluation of the costs of Australian welfare projected out for the life of the current Australian population, released in 2016. 

DSS established that welfare costs amount to $4.8 trillion over the life course, and is most costly for several cohorts of people who are more likely to experience long-term welfare dependence throughout their lives. ISSR led the team that validated both the initial (2015) evaluation and the second (2017) evaluation.

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Flexible childcare for modern families

In 2016, the Australian Department of Education and Training introduced the Nanny Pilot Programme, as an expansive childcare option to determine the viability and desirability of this flexible childcare solution to enhance workforce participation. 

ISSR was commissioned to evaluate both the Nanny Pilot Programme and the existing In Home Care program to inform policy on these childcare options for modern Australian families.

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Paid Parental Leave Evaluation

This project is an evaluation of the Australian government’s Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme which commenced on January 1, 2011. The evaluation, which began in 2010, was commissioned by the then Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now the Department of... Read more

Dad and Partner Pay Evaluation

The project is an evaluation of the Australian Government’s Dad and Partner Pay (DaPP) scheme. DaPP aims to create new opportunities for fathers and partners to bond with their newborn child, and allow them to take a larger share of caring responsibilities for their newborn children. The... Read more

Utilisation of Social Science Research

Academics lament that policy-makers ignore their research, while policy decision-makers argue that academic research is largely irrelevant to their needs. This project aims to reconcile these two positions by investigating social science research utilisation within public sector agencies.... Read more